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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

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Northfield Library - a brief history


The counter of the first Northfield Library

Northfield Library was opened in 1906 with money donated by Andrew Carnegie and land provided by the Cadbury family. The foundation stone was laid by Alderman T. R. Bayliss.

In 1911 the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council ceased to exist and the village of Northfield was absorbed into Birmingham.

During the night of 12th February 1914 the library was burnt to the ground despite the valiant efforts of the Northfield and Kings Heath fire brigades. Suspicion for the outrageous act fell on the local suffragettes. A paper found on the railings to the rear of the library proclaiming, Give Women the Vote together with a brown paper parcel containing a book by Christabel Pankhurst on which was written, to start your new library.

The library was rebuilt by the Free Libraries Committee and opened in 1914.

Since then although the fade remains the same the library has doubled in size with the last extension being added in 1984.

In 2006 we celebrated our centenary with lots of events, exhibitions and an enormous birthday cake.


Northfield Library